Owners of vacant land and uninsured properties in the red
zone are disappointed but not surprised the Government will
appeal against a landmark High Court decision in their
The group of more than 40 property owners calling itself
Quake Outcasts and Brooklands property developer John Fowler
won their case against Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry
Brownlee in a court decision released on Monday.
In a High Court action last month, they challenged the
Crown's offer of 50 per cent of the value of their land,
seeking the same compensation offer that other red zone
property owners received - the 2007 rateable valuation of
Justice Graham Panckhurst found the Crown's offer announced
by Mr Brownlee last September was unlawful and set aside the
offers made to the applicants by Canterbury Earthquake
Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton.
And he directed Mr Brownlee and Mr Sutton to "reach a new
decision" to buy the properties "in accordance with law"
under the purposes and principles of the Canterbury
Earthquake Recovery Act 2011.
But Mr Brownlee confirmed yesterday the Government would
"There are a number of things in that decision that are quite
concerning and I think we need to get some clarification
around that," Mr Brownlee said.
Mr Brownlee said Justice Panckhurst had invited the
Government to speak with him "to seek those clarifications".
"Nonetheless we will try and get our position clearer through
the appeal process."
Quake Outcasts spokesman David Millar said the group wasn't
surprised by an appeal.
We were under the impression right from the start of the case
that if they lost they would appeal," he said.
"They're quite aggressive and very stubborn. They don't want
to give in."
Mr Millar said personally he was disappointed at the
Government's decision as he expected other group members
"We were quite elated at the result on Monday. We were very
pleased and relieved at the decision."
Mr Millar said Prime Minister John Key's comments on TV3's
Firstline programme yesterday morning that the Government 50
per cent offer was generous "sounded almost like he's
operating some sort of business deal".
Mr Key said the Government would have to "have a good look at
the judgement" and decide what it did next.
"But there are a lot of precedent risks here and issues,
because if we pay out more than that ... even paying out 50
per cent sets a precedent."
Labour's earthquake recovery spokeswoman Ruth Dyson said red
zone property owners had been vindicated by the court
- By Cullen Smith of The Star and Kurt Bayer of APNZ